Ilford Limited 1879

The history of Ilford Limited goes back to 1879 when Alfred Harman started business in a very modest way as one of the earliest manufacturers of photographic dry plates. his original "factory" was the basement of his own house in Cranbrook Road, Ilford, where his staff consisted of two men and three boys with assistance at busy times from his wife and his housekeeper. Harman marketed his plates through Marion & Co. Ltd., of Soho Square under the name of "Britannia" plates and demand was such that he very soon moved to a cottage on the Clyde Estate which became the emulsion-making department and a terrace of three-storeyed houses, facing the River Roding, which was converted into a plate-coating department and warehouse. By 1883 further expansion took place with the building of a "new factory" on the same site. In 1886 Harman, after a disagreement with Marion's, decided to make his own marketing arrangements and traded as the "Britannia Works Company". However, he was forced by a legal action to drop the name of "Britannia" for his plates and chose instead "Ilford".